THREE DYSTOPIAN MOVIES

My last post was about three dystopian books, but how about three dystopian movies? Rollerball introduces us to what it will be like when corporations are allowed to operate without regulations and without boarders.  The Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, says corporations are ‘people.’ If that is true they are sociopaths  that only look out for their own interests. The Handmaid’s Tale, gives us an idea what the US would look like under a Christian fundamentalist dominated government. The Alfa white males dominate. In Elysium. the earth and its multitudes are destined to perish in pollution, drought and rising seas while the oligarchy live above in orbit.

Rollerball. 1975 movie called Rollerball. It stars James Caan as the sports hero Jonathan, Maude Adams as his ex-wife and John Houseman as Mr. Bartholomew, a high-level executive of the Energy Corporation. The film takes place in 2018, where the word is run as a global corporate state. The Energy Corporation is a global energy monopoly based in Houston, which controls access to all transportation, housing, communication and food on a global basis. Energy Corporation sponsors Jonathan’s team. Jonathan’s wife, Maud Adams was taken away from Jonathan by a corporate executive, which simply exerted his power and took her. The game Rollerball is a substitute for all team sports and for warfare. It is designed to bring euphoria to the masses. While the purpose of the sport is entertainment, Mr. Bartholomew, describes it as having a “distinct social purpose”: to show the futility of individual effort. In order to defeat the individual star Jonathan, The Energy Corporation simply changes the rules, so that Rollerball soon degrades into senseless violence, which nullifies any individual effort with humiliation. In the movie Jonathan emerges victorious against the Big Corporation.  This seems unlikely!”

Handmaid’s Tale, a 1985 book and now a TV Special, The Handmaid’s Tale, a work of  fiction by Canadian author Margaret Atwood. The novel is set in a near-future in New England, in a totalitarian theocracy, which has overthrown the United States government. The Handmaid’s Tale is set in the Republic of Gilead, a theocratic military dictatorship formed within the borders of what was formerly the United States of America. It begins with a staged attack that kills the President and most of Congress with a Christian fundamentalist revolutionary uprising, called the “Sons of Jacob”.   The revolution suspends the United States Constitution, under the pretext of restoring order. The new regime, the Republic of Gilead, forms a new militarized hierarchical regime, based on Old Testament-inspired social and religious fanaticism, which creates newly created social classes, with only the elite ruling. In this society, human rights are severely limited and women’s rights are even more curtailed, as women are forbidden to read. The story is told in the first person by a woman called Offred. The character is one of a class of women kept by the ruling class for reproductive purposes and known as ‘handmaids’.”

Elysium. The 2013 film offers deliberate social commentary, which explores political and sociological themes such as immigration, overpopulationhealth careworker exploitation, the justice system, and social class issues. In 2154, Earth  most of the earth’s citizens live in poverty, on the edge of starvation, and with little technology and medical care. The rich and powerful live on Elysium — a gigantic space habitat located in Earth’s orbit. Elysium is technologically advanced with some of its technology including Med-Bays: medical machines that can cure all diseases, reverse the aging process, and regenerate new body parts. A long-running feud exists between the wealthy residents of Elysium and the citizens of Earth. The earth and its multitudes are destined to perish in pollution, drought and rising seas.”

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